|Best for Carryout||Extra-Cheap||No Alcohol|
A busy restaurant isn’t always a sign that a restaurant is good. In the case of pollo a la brasa, however, the surest indication that you’re in for a terrific meal is a line stretching to the door. What that high volume ensures is that the chickens don’t have time to sit in warming ovens, becoming dry. You can be sure Sardi’s will be swarmed when you arrive, no matter the time of day, which means you can also be sure that a bird will be plucked off the spit while you wait, hot and dripping with juice and carved to order in front of you. Hard as it is to resist pinching off a taste or three as you move down the cafeteria-style line, getting your plate accessorized with sides (beans, rice, slaw, plantains), there’s always the marvelous scent of that dark, pepper-rubbed skin to console you. At the Gaithersburg location, you can get a beer, too.
Also good: pollo parriello (butterflied grilled chicken); ceviche.